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Illness Brings Christian Science Beliefs to Light

The longtime leader of a Tampa Bay-area domestic violence shelter and a devout Christian Scientist is declining to discuss an illness that’s produced a significant growth on her face and has affected her ability to speak or chew, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Instead Linda Osmundson says she is depending on the power of prayer and is continuing to work, specifically leading a major fundraising campaign to build a new 100-bed shelter in St. Petersburg for CASA, the Community Action Stops Abuse organization, according to the Times.

A Christian Scientist all her life, Osmundson told the Times she has not gone to a doctor since receiving a diagnosis a few years ago. She instead follows the tenets of Christian Science, which relies on prayer, and not medicine, to heal.

She told the Times it’s harder to work because people see her as a face, although “I'm still here to do my work. My brain's just fine. I talk a little funny.''

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.